Trapping Season


OFA Officers

Jonathan Coleman

Chris Kimble
Vice President

Bart Russell

Shane Bullard

Rob Huber

OFA is an affiliate of the North American Falconers' Association

OFA is a proud contributor to The Falconry Fund


OFA Is a proud contributor to Quail Forever




David Eslicker


How long have you been an OFA member? 

I believe since the early to mid 1970s.  I am not really sure if it was officially OFA then or not.


Positions in OFA? 

Recently, vice-president.  I held an office a long time ago, but I do not remember what it was.


Where do you live? 

 Outside of Bartlesville.


 Job or School? 




Wife Sandy of 29 years and twin sons Ryan and Scott, 26 years old.


What got you interested in falconry? 

I spent my early childhood close to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary where my grandfather volunteered his time.  This established an early affair with birds, especially raptors.  After moving to Oklahoma I met a falconer when I was 15 years old and have flown birds ever since.


Who was your sponsor? (or mentors and influences?) 

My early influences were guys that got into falconry while we were in high school in Tulsa.  Dave Parker, Mark Waller, Jeff Byrum, and Kevin Leggett were a few of the people that helped me along the way.  In the early 80's Steve Sherrod became a positive influence on my captive bred longwinging career.  Recently, I consider a former apprentice to have a positive influence on my falconry.  When not talking, Scott Dillon with his enthusiasm and optimistic attitude helps keep things entertaining. 


What birds do you currently fly? 

This season I will be starting a tiercel gyr/peregrine.


What birds have you flown in the past? 

I have flown Red tails, American Kestrels, Cooper's Hawks, North American and Finnish Goshawks, a European Sparrowhawk, Prairies, Peregrines, Barbaries, Merlins, and hybrids of the above longwings.


What was your favorite bird and why? 

I have always suffered from wanting to fly every bird possible.  My favorite bird is always the next bird I will be flying.  If forced to pick a past favorite it would be a tiercel gyr/peregrine (marcropus).  Spade was the one bird I formed the closest relationship with.  I certainly had the most detailed and thought out plan of attack prior to his training.  I think I was more disciplined with his training and hunting than any bird I had previously flown.  He responded beautifully and took high pitches while bagging many ducks and prairie chickens the few years I got to enjoy him.  Truth be known he would have probably flown just as well with another falconer or with another training program.  Who am I kidding, it had to be me.


What birds do you plan to fly or would like to fly? 

I plan on flying small accipiters in the near future.  I would still like to fly small falcons waiting on over small birds.  I have not had much success attempting this where I live.  The agriculture fields are pretty much gone from this part of the state and the cover is just too much to deal with.  So, small accipiters have me interested presently.


Favorite Quarry? 

Quail, lesser prairie chickens, huns, ducks, probably in that order.


Do you have other animals? 

A loft of homers, a beagle, and a vizsla.


 Favorite falconry story? 

I was flying Spade on a beautiful winter morning in Kansas.  He was taking a good pitch when the chickens inexplicably left the field several hundred yards in front of me.  Spade never stooped and was now gaining pitch with great excitement.  Fortunately my dog points a stray bird several minutes later.  Spade comes down from straight over head as the chicken flushes.  He knocked it unconscious or killed it dead in the stoop, throws up and lazily winnowed down onto the chicken.  The two falconers in the group are standing over the kill with me discussing the flight when the non-falconer in our group walks up.  He says "That bird looked like the finger of God sent down from heaven to strike down a sinner."  I would have never looked at it like that.


Funniest falconry story? 

About 20 years ago I met a friend in very rural Montana for a week of hawking.  The night I arrived was beautiful calm and warm.  My buddy had a wall tent all set up for us when I got there.  He had set it up a half mile from the landowner’s house because he was concerned about all the cats with snot running out of their noses around the house.  The next morning it was blowing bad and had turned cold.  The landowner drove in to camp and we asked him where his 2 boys were that we had met the night before.  He said they would be along after they finished picking up cats.  Sure enough they drove up about 30 minutes later with over a hundred dead cats in the bed of their truck.  The landowner said it happens every fall with the first cold snap.  We guessed it was distemper, but never really looked in to it further.  That night in camp I asked the landowner if I could use his phone to let my family know I had made it OK.  He told me fine and where to find the phone in the kitchen.  I walked through the mudroom full of overflowing kitty litter boxes and into the kitchen.  A Rottweiler charged me and hit the end of a chain less than 2 feet from me.  He neglected to tell me about the dog on a logging chain that was attached to a 1 inch rod driven through the kitchen floor into the ground below.  It was barking, growling, and foaming at the mouth as I was pinned against the kitchen wall.  I scooted over to the phone on the wall and called my wife.  I convinced her I was ok and went back to camp.  My friend asked if I reached her and said he better go do the same.  I told him where the phone was in the kitchen.  He returned about 15 minutes later looking a little agitated.  He assured me his wife and family were fine.  The landowner announced that he was going home for the evening.  As soon as we heard his truck door slam shut it started.  I was called more names over the next 30 seconds than I had been called in my entire life.  We agreed that it was the most scared (startled) either of us had ever been.  I have learned over the years that trust is a difficult thing to win back.

Favorite quote?

 "The easiest part of falconry is telling my buddies that their birds are too fat, while the most difficult part of falconry is figuring out that my own bird is too fat"  Some dumb falconer from Bartlesville with 40 years of experience that has to admit to this each and every season.


 What is the best tip that you would give someone new to the sport?   

Do not get caught up in competition amongst falconers.  The style of your flights and your bird will suffer.  Every time you turn your bird loose ask yourself "Is this the best thing I can do for my bird today."  The most enjoyment you can have in the sport is when the plan all comes together.  For that to happen you must understand the natural history of all the players.  Spend as much time studying the natural history of your prey as you do studying the natural history of your raptor.


Who have you sponsored? 

Rod Smith and Scott Dillon


What goals do you have for your falconry experience? 

Keep at it.  It is more fun now than it used to be.  That is probably because I have figured out that I am not a smart as I used to be - just wiser.


Contact Info you want public?

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Featured Member

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January, 2018


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